Skip to main content

Organization of Independent Artists records, circa 1970s-circa 2003

Organization of Independent Artists

Collection Information

Size: 28.4 Linear feet

Summary: The Organization of Independent Artists records measure 28.4 linear feet and date from circa 1970s to circa 2003. The records include administrative records, correspondence, exhibition and installation files, artists' files, financial and legal records, printed material, seven scrapbooks, and photographs.
Administrative records include scattered files about the board of directors/trustees, the advisory board, membership, events, gallery rental space, loans, other organizations, and the general history of the OIA. Also found are exhibitions lists, schedules, and proposals, as well as drafts of OIA printed materials. Correspondence with artists, board members, donors, financial institutions, and other organizations is found in many of the files.
Exhibition and installation files comprise the bulk of the records and include files for the Annual OIA Salon Show, the OIA Sculpture Garden assembled annually on the grounds of the Manhattan Psychiatric Center on Ward's Island, several shows of Selections from the Slide Files, as well as numerous other group exhibitions and installations.
The artists' files contain a variety of materials, including photographs, and are found for Hera, Tom Klem, Mary Shaffer and a few others. Financial and legal records document the organization's many grant applications, invoices and bills paid, tax materials, and legal issues. Printed materials include OIA newsletters, show announcements and brochures, and exhibition materials and clippings. There is one clippings scrapbook and six scrapbooks of exhibition materials. Photographs depict exhibitions and installations as well as artwork; additional photographs of exhibitions are also filed with the exhibition files.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Organization of Independent Artists (OIA) is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1976 by Warren Tanner, Arnold Wechsler, and Renee Meyer. The organization's mission is to sponsor artist-curated group shows and enable exhibitions of emerging and mid-career artists in public spaces throughout the New York City area outside of the usual commercial and alternative gallery venues.


The Organization of Independent Artists records were donated in 2003 by the organization via Geraldine Cosentino, Director.

Language Note

Collection is in English


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.